Friday, August 13, 2010

An exercise in anger management

As the title says this is an exercise in anger management. I can almost guarantee that this is going to get ugly. I do want to give a big shout out and tip of the Fro to Unnatural Forces's guide on commenting.

So I'm checking out a post at Feministe. I hadn't posted on it until yesterday and when I went to look at it today I was think that since it was far from the top of the page the conversation had pretty much died but curiosity won so I looked anyway. and say someone had replied.

Thinking I'm getting some conversation going I replied back. Well apparently I fucked up by not simply accepting that all men hold power over all women and to question it is just childish nitpicking and hairsplitting that derails from the "real" discussion.

I responded.

That's when I'm pretty much told that I should have just accepted that false generalization as fact and just moved on.

At this point I almost think step two of Unnatural Force's guide saved me, almost literally. When I read that remark my heart rate shot up and I actually started shaking. You see in my time of trying to talk to feminists I've met good ones, reasonable ones, nasty ones, and bad ones. And one of the tactics I've seen from the nasty and bad ones is to go to great lengths to minimize the experiences of men (with no qualms about lying and generalizing) in order to make women's lot in life look even worse and make men look all the more evil. Well damn that. I'm all for bringing gender equality for all people but I REFUSE to act like my life is nothing but a lap of luxury just so they can feel better about themselves.

Now truthfully in hindsight I probably should have just been the better person and let it slide but its hard to do that. Something I need to learn to do sometime, but hard.

So the back and forth goes on for a bit longer until someone apparently decided that when all else fails just condescend:
What I would suggest, though, if you are earnest about wanting to dismantle yourself of the unearned male privilege you carry, is for you to read some feminist theory (say the past 40 years worth).
Okay so I haven't read all 40 years of it. But it seems that if you do disagree with some of it then the only reason you do is because you didn't read all it. I guess.
Then you might be able to carry on a legitimate debate about how to dismantle privilege, rather than dribbling on about how privilege is selective and obvious and how it’s totes unfair for women to suggest that men, even the nice men, have social, economic, political, and religious privilege over women.
I'm gonna have to find that section in the 40 years of theory that says that the unfair advantages that women have over men really don't count or matter and that addressing and dealing with male privilege will fix everything. And really "dribbling"?
[I'll lob you an easy ball though -- you can even do this kind of homework over the weekend. Why don't you go around the town you are living in and check out how easy it is to buy condoms. You could also check out affordability of condoms, selection of condoms, hours of the day when your access to condoms is restricted by business needs, etc. Then you can compare the relative ease of procuring male contraceptives to the current political backlash against women's access to birth control. If you can't spot the privilege during your escapades, your lot in life is truly hopeless.]
The lesson here folks is that the privileges that men have over women actually DOES wipe any that women have over men and any and all damages that happen to men. Oh and its also okay for feminists to insult people. Well chances are that person probably don't think its insulting they're just "calling me out" I'm sure.

So remember:
1. When it comes to looking at gender imbalances the only ones that count are the ones in which men are favored over women.
2. Its okay to talk to some feminists as long as you don't directly challenge what they have already decided as fact.
3. To point out how the system favors men over women is insightful commentary that needs to see the light of day while pointing out how the system favors women over men is dribble that's nothing more than a woman hating misogynistic attempt at making it "all about teh menz".
4. Its okay to insult people in feminist spaces as long as you are an accepted part of the in crowd.
5. Echo chambers are very wily creatures. They disguise themselves as open forums of discussion to lure you in. And by the time you realize that by not being a part of the in crowd its too late.
6. Despite being activists that are named in relation to people of the female persuasion there are some feminists who actually can speak on the lives of men and in the event that a man comes along whose existence does not match the conclusions they have already drawn then he is wrong, not paying attention, trying to make it all about men, and in general an evil patriarchal woman hating misogynistic douche bag that is too stupid to realize that in order for the world to be a better place he must sweep his own experiences and life under the rug because they don't matter.

And then people have the nerve to wonder why the entire feminist movement isn't just blindly celebrated with unquestioned praise?

Fuck that and fuck some of them.

Goddamn that felt good.


Toysoldier said...

Although I did not want to, I read the whole exchange. It seems to me that the problem is simply that for the feminists there male privilege must be all or nothing. It cannot be some men; it must be all men, everywhere, no matter what. I think occurs because many feminists theories hinge on absolute, black-and-white comparisons. Everything is us versus them. A nuanced idea like "some men have power and privilege while others don't" just does not fit their script. That can best be seen in the response to Alara Roger's question about how "rape culture" benefits men. It has to be all or nothing, i.e. all men benefit from "rape culture" even if they never commit rape.

I also found it interesting how quickly the attack on you came. Nothing you wrote was dismissive. You did not challenge any feminist theories or ideas. All you did was use the word "some," and that seemed to set everyone off. I agree that it is that sort of knee-jerk reaction, followed by the moderator siding with the belligerent regulars, that keeps reasonable people skeptical about the intentions of feminists.

Danny said...

As I say in the post the part that really got to me is how they attacked me by accusing me of attacking them and having the nerve to take a condescending attitude after getting in their cheap shots. That experience over there is exactly why I refuse to buy into their insistence that feminists are the moral default. Just like any other group of people you have good ones and bad ones. I just happen to cross paths with bad ones (well two to be exact) on that day.

April said...

Interesting how the author of the post shut it down completely before Sheelzebub and Alara had a chance to respond publicly. I was quite interested to see their responses.

Strange "coincidence" that seems to happen so often across the feminist blogosphere...

Danny said...

I know right. Although my complaint is more with Sheelzebub that with Alara. The latter sounds like a person definitely worth talking to while the former is just a loudmouth child that cries oppression at the first hint of disagreeing with a feminist.

And this April is why I refuse to buy into their attempts at establishing feminist as an adjective that can be substituted for pretty much anything that can be considered good.